Officials broke ground Tuesday on the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Outpatient Center.

The $40 million investment will include centers for child psychology, physical therapy and hypertension, as well as the Childhood Healthy Eating and Active Living Center.

“We believe this addition to the Erlanger system will be the most important new building in the city of Chattanooga, with far-reaching impact, from pediatric treatment, medical education and technology to research and economic development,” Erlanger President and CEO Kevin Spiegel said in a prepared statement.

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U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tennessee, said that when he got into Congress, he learned of Erlanger’s needs and wanted to make federal funding for the hospital a priority.

“When I think that a world-class children’s hospital is coming into fruition right here in the greatest midsize city in America, I know we have really gotten something special done,” Fleischmann said.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said it’s fantastic that so many people care about the children in this community.

“There is nothing we won’t do for our kids,” he said. “Every time something happens to a child in our community, I think our first response is ‘What if that was my kid?’ and we want to help.”

Berke spoke about the Woodmore Elementary School bus crash and the outpouring of support from the first responders and the community.

“The city needed to make sure that those kids who came after that day were going to get the world-class treatment that Chattanooga kids deserve,” he said. “We have a world-class city, so we should have a world-class children’s hospital.”

The Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Outpatient Center will be on the corner of East Third and Palmetto streets.

The hospital is the first step in a revitalization of the Third and Fourth streets corridor, according to River City Co. President Kim White. She said River City is working with Erlanger, UTC, Unum, Blood Assurance and the city of Chattanooga to transform the area into a living and working community with new developments, sidewalks and parking.

The 50,000-square-foot hospital is expected to be completed in 18 months.

For more information about the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Outpatient Center, click here.

Watch an animated video of the hospital rendering below.

Eric Wise is a contributing writer. He is currently attending UTC, where he is the assistant news editor for the school newspaper, The University Echo. He also serves as the alumni relations chairman for his fraternity.
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